Key themes from our search included that women and girls face barriers toward accessing basic sanitation and hygiene resources, including a lack of secure and private sanitation and of Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) resources. In total, 71% of identified studies reported a health outcome, suggesting an intersection of water and gender with health. Half of the research studies that included a health component reflected on the relationship between WASH, gender, and infantile diseases, including under-5 mortality, waterborne parasites, and stunting. In addition, we found that women and girls, as a result of their role as water purveyors, were at risk of exposure to contaminated water and of sustaining musculoskeletal trauma. A limited number of studies directly compared gender differences in accessing WASH resources, and an even smaller fraction (N = 5, 8.5%) reported sex-disaggregated outcomes. Educational, infrastructural, and programmatic interventions showed promise in reducing WASH and health outcomes. Indeed, infrastructural WASH interventions can be successful if long-term maintenance is ensured.
Source: Pouramin P, Nagabhatla N and Miletto M (2020) A Systematic Review of Water and Gender Interlinkages: Assessing the Intersection With Health. Front. Water 2:6. doi: 10.3389/frwa.2020.00006